Imagine that all your data is always backed up on a continuous basis and can be rapidly restored to any point you choose. It’s not a dream, that’s the promise of continuous data protection (CDP), and it may hold the potential to change the backup landscape. At least that’s what storage vendors are betting on.
Few vendors agree on what CDP is or whether it is an evolutionary or revolutionary technology. However, all the major storage vendors and a number of startups are getting in on the CDP action with new products and re-branded offerings.
EMC, IBM and Microsoft are just some of the industry giants working on CDP products.
What is CDP?
It depends on who you ask.
There is as of yet no formally approved definition of CDP by a standards body. The Storage Networking Industry Association’s (SNIA) Data Management Forum (DMF) is working on a formal definition for a CDP data services interface standard within the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S).
In the absence of a formal standard, vendors are jockeying for acceptance of their own views of CDP.
Pete Koliopoulos, senior director of product marketing at EMC, told Enterprise Storage Forum that EMC defines CDP as a technology used to minimize lost data and speed the return to service of business applications.
”Specifically, CDP will provide fine-grain, point-in-time views of data and applications for the purposes of data recovery,” Koliopoulos said. ”We view CDP as an evolutionary — not revolutionary — technology building on areas in which EMC has unquestioned leadership.”
EMC claims that its FullTime RepliStor has been providing CDP-type feature for some time. That said, Koliopoulos noted that EMC is planning a new CDP product in the coming months.